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Tesco plans international online shopping development

22 September 2010 - 13:41 by Graham Miller

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UK Supermarket chain Tesco is set to bring safe shopping online to several key international locations as it pushes to bolster its presence in the e-commerce market.

This news has been publicised by future Tesco CEO, Philip Clarke, who will take the reins from current Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy when he steps down in 2011.

Tesco's overseas expansion will begin in Poland, where its e-commerce service will become available at some point next year. It already has a high street presence in Poland and will hope that making online grocery shopping available will develop its brand.

Both South Korea and Ireland have online Tesco stores open to domestic consumers and it believes that its online retail and banking divisions will help it to net a £1 billion operating profit in the UK this year.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Clarke said that the firm will not be taking incremental steps into providing online shopping to places like China and the Czech Republic, but would rather attempt to cover more than just groceries with a wide selection of products and also to push further into the high street in these developing markets.

Tesco realises that it will be getting a preliminary foothold in these international markets before any major rivals are there to compete, which will give it a significant advantage, according to industry analyst Robert Clark.

Mr Clark pointed out in an interview with Sky News, that while western Europe and the US have established e-commerce sectors, the eastern nations are still in the early stages of online growth and Tesco is experienced in exploiting this type of situation to its advantage.

Tesco is hoping to expand its international presence by offering safe shopping online as experts believe its current UK market share has hit a plateau.